Peugeot 406 Lights

Shock Absorbers- Nissan Micra – MOT Test-Failure if they are Worn and Leaking

Shock Absorbers

Leaking shock absorbers are an MOT test fail

The most frustrating thing about shock absorbers and struts, (which are basically the same thing) is that they are sealed units and although they are classed as maintenance free, they will

Shock Absorbers

A Nissa McPherson strut unit, the shock absorber part (strut) is fitted inside the spring .

very often start to leak. In some countries shock absorbers are known as dampers, because that is exactly what they do they damp down and level out the bumps that your car is picking

shock absorbers

Nissan Micra in for a new shock absorber

up as it drives along the road.

Depending what the model of your car is, then the shock absorbers should be changed at certain mileage intervals,

If you are not sure what this is then you can perform a simple bounce test. All you have to do is to press the corner of your car a few times with your body weight and then stop the bouncing. Once you stop then your car should settle back down straight away, if it bounces again more than twice then the shockers require changing. You do this procedure on each corner, bouncing the car and then releasing it.

In my opinion this is not a very satisfactory way of checking your shock absorbers, but at the moment I have not seen a satisfactory machine that will do the job. The best machine that I ever saw and consequently bought was a tester that was sold by SUN equipment. You drove the car onto vibration plates, which shook the cars suspension very violently and then suddenly stopped. The action of the shock absorbers was then recorded on to paper printouts via an ink needle, similar to the ones used in hospital heart machines. If the pattern was tight then the shocks were good, if they were wide, then the shocks needed replacing.

This was a great machine because it produced a print out so that the customer could see the state that his shocks were in. ironically the machine was scrapped by Kwik-Fit after I sold them the business and I don’t think that they are made any more.

How do Shock Absorbers work?

Some cars never have their shocks replaced, but with age the ride of your car will get bouncier and the cars steering will be all over the place when cornering, although this is sometimes

Shock Absorbers

Micra McPherson strut sowing the oil leak (dark part)

blamed on the cars tyres it is more often than not the shocks that need changing.

As I have said earlier, the most common problem is the fact that they leak oil. If this is the case then they will need changing. Any kind of shock absorber works on the same basis. There is a piston rod that enters a chamber that is filled with oil. The piston has oil seals to prevent leakage. As the piston is compressed by the weight then it takes the force of the road surface and the car. Your shocks take all the up and down pressure (bumps) and the cars chassis remains level, or as level as possible whilst driving along.

When the shocks are worn or broken then you will get an uneven ride in your car. I think that the worse culprits of this are on cars that are used as Taxis. You can often feel the older cars bouncing up and down as you drive along, and apart from alcohol, I am convinced that this is one of the reasons that people are sick in the back of a Taxi.

Struts are normally fitted at the front of cars and are fitted inside a coil spring unit.

These are known as McPherson struts and just like the shock absorbers, they can leak oil. These struts along with the springs that they are inserted into can very often break, and the symptoms  are rattling and banging noises coming from the car when going over bumps in the road, This is another problem that the potholes can cause. “Broken springs

An old perennial that keeps cropping up is that when a shocker has to be replaced then should they be replaced in pairs. In my opinion this is a grey area, the manufacturers always recommend that you fit two, and I think that this is the perfect scenario, but in practice the customer wants to get away with having to spend as little as possible and in general only has the one fitted. The rule to this is simple, if your car is relatively new, then just change the one, the one on the other side should still be good, but if the car is an older model then you should change the shocks on each side of the same axle, backs or fronts. This will give you an even ride and more stable cornering.

Normal shocks are fairly easy to change for the home mechanic

But the struts are more difficult and require some special tools, such as spring compressors and so I would take your car to a local garage, for the work doing.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts.

Eric Roberts

 

Peugeot 406 Lights

Starter Motor on my Jeep made a loud Clunking Noise

Starter Motor

Suspected starter motor

A few week ago now, a guy came into my garage and asked us to fit him a new battery. We always test the old battery, unless the customer tells us the old one is completely dead. This guy Starter Motorhad a Jeep and we said that the battery had been slow to start the car for about a month now and he thought that it was going to let him down completely. He worked in Manchester about 30 mile away from Halifax here in Yorkshire and so did not want to risk expensive breakdown chargers. We fitted a new battery and the guy went away happy. After about a month the guy turned back up again.

He said that the problem appeared to be cured after the new car battery was fitted, but recently he had started to hear a low level clunking noise coming from the engine when he started the car. He said that it was the old problem that was occurring and could the battery be faulty?

This also happens with a faulty alternator.

The first thing that the customer does is to buy a new battery, then a few weeks later , the car still has starting problems because the alternator has been under-charging or over-charging. Eventually the car has to have a replacement alternator. It is the same with the starter motor, although the starter is not as common a fault as the alternator, at least not here in Halifax.

Our top mechanic Ryan went out to check the car out and found the clunk was indeed coming from the starter motor when starting the car. There are a few things that you need to know

about diagnosing this problem. The main one is when you try to start the car, (and this applies to all cars and vans, in fact any vehicle that is fitted with a starter motor, will have similar symptoms) you turn the key to turn the engine over, but nothing happens, the engine will turn over. This is what would have eventually happened to the Jeep.

Also when you try to turn over the engine you hear a loud click.

In this case the car’s engine will still not turn over. This scenario is also the same as a dead flat battery, but I am presuming that the cars have had a new one fitted, prior to the starter clicking again. This can go on for a little while and sometimes the car will eventually start. The starter engages with the vehicles flywheel and turns over the engine until the car starts, and sometimes it is the starters gear teeth that are broken. But if you are lucky enough the hit the starter key at the right time, then the car may just start.

Back in the olden days cars with inline engines would have a cranking handle. So that you could turn over the engine, by hand (if you were strong enough). However cars started to come out with front wheel drive engines and the cranking handle became obsolete.

Our Jeep needed a new starter motor

Ryan very quickly diagnosed that the starter motor needed replacing, and after giving the gut a price for the job, Ryan began the difficult job of removing the old motor. Years ago the starters were easy to find and replace, but the advent of the computer designed cars, the manufacturers can squeeze parts onto an engine where

jeep, starter motor, and battery

New and old Jeep starters side by side

they previously could not. This Jeep was no exception and the starter was tucked away in nowhere land and very difficult to remove, right up the back of the engine, certainly not a job for the DIY car repairer, on his back on the drive at home.

The new part arrived and was fitted back in the engine by Ryan. The problem was that the teeth on the old motor were worn away, and were not connecting with the flywheel. Sometimes we find that there is an electrical fault, but not in this case. The old starter was sent back to the supplier and then returned to the company that will recondition the starter to repeat the cycle again when the next Jeep start motor goes wrong.

We normally carry out the following tests to ascertain whether or not a new starter motor  is required.

A- We always test the battery first. This is by using a simple multi-meter test.

B- We will check that the starter motor is getting 12 Volts on to its Battery Circuit.

C- We always check that the starter motor is receiving the electrical current from the ignition switch.

D- We carry out a voltage drop test on the starter battery and ground Circuits. We do this using a 12 volt battery and a connecting wire to test whether or not the starter is engaging or not. We test this in a vice on the bench.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.

Eric Roberts

Peugeot 406 Lights

Turbocharger-What Does It Do?- A look Into the use of the Turbocharger

Turbocharger

First turbocharger

I am sadly old enough to remember when the mention of the word “Turbocharger”it was something special. The first production cars to be fitted with turbos (as I am going to abbreviate them) was in the USA, back in 1962, when the Oldsmobile Jet-fire and the Chevrolet Corsair cars were fitted out with the first production car exhaust turbo. These cars did have a few teething problems such as engine knocking, but this was corrected with a few modifications.

One of the next important developments for the turbo came in 1973, with the beginning of the oil crisis. The diesel engines of the time were expensive enough, but the addition of the

turbocharger

Turbocharger almost hidden away

turbo to these engines made them even more expensive. However the fuel crises and the expensive cost of fuel made the turbo driven engines more cost effective because of the fuel savings.

The next chapter was in the 1980’s when governments started to issue legislation to restrict fuel pollution in the new cars that were produced at that time and this was the beginning of almost all the cars produced, having a turbocharger fitted. In fact this is about the same time that diesel driven engine cars became more popular to make for the car manufacturers. The turbo diesel engines were giving a high performance with much lower fuel consumption.

This trend was started off in Germany, in the late seventies and early eighties, when Mercedes Benz and VW started producing production cars that were fitted with a Turbocharger and a turbo charged diesel engines the Mercedes 300 SD and the VW Golf Turbo Diesel models.

The turbocharger into the 90’s and beyond

The main emphasis of the Auto manufacturers was now to drive down the amount of emission’s that the cars were producing. Governments all over the world were throwing huge amounts of money at the problem in order to drive down the carbon gases that cars were producing. The turbo charged engines certainly helped to fulfill this achievement. The advantages of the Turbocharger were that the engines could have a high performance, whilst at the same time be produced with a lower CC, engines were made smaller with more power.

The engines could be made smaller with higher torques and lower speed ranges at the same time. The engines would also become less noisy, we all remember the terrible sounds that would come out of a turbo less engine, and we needed ear plugs to drive some of the early diesel engine vans. The biggest gain though was the fuel consumption. The early diesel engines used to eat fuel, but with the addition of the Turbocharger , the fuel consumption lowered dramatically, cars can now get as much as 80 mile to the gallon, with other added improvements, that are happening all the time.

Our customers know very little about the turbocharger that is on their car.

The Turbocharger can be very complicated to explain, but I will attempt to put it in simple terms, that is the only way I can understand it myself anyway. The basic design mechanism of the

Turbocharger

How a Turbocharger works

turbo works in a very similar way the jet engine. The jet engine draws in air from the front, compressors the air into a chamber where it burns with fuel. It them blasts the hot air out of the back. The hot air then drives past a turbine , which in turn drives the air pump at the front of the engine. At this stage the heated compressed air is pushed into the car’s engine to make the fuel burn more efficiently. The cars turbo is very much like a small car engine, it uses the expelled exhaust gases that are produced in an engine to drive a turbine, this spins the compressor, which pushes more air/oxygen into the cars cylinders  which, allowing more fuel to be burned  each second. This is why a Turbocharger can produce more fuel efficient energy per second.

Theoretically Turbocharger care, by the car owner is only down to general care and servicing of their car.

Clean oil is very important and indeed one of the main problems with turbo care is when dirty oil is sucked into the turbos lubrication system. It is also a good idea to make sure that your engine warms up slowly on a cold morning. The cold thickens the viscosity of the oil which could starve the Turbocharger of oil, but with all the different oils that are used now, then I am not sure that this applies any more.

It is certainly a wise thing to make sure that your vehicle has the correct type of oil and that you top the engine up with the same type of oil as used in an oil change. If you are not sure, have your car serviced by a garage of your choice, it is not worth the risk, some turbos are well over £1000 each, and you can’t do without one.

Hope this helps.

Eric Roberts

  Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts..

Peugeot 406 Lights

Flexi Exhaust Pipe-Astra VXR can it be Repaired? We can sometimes save the customers there Money.

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

A Flexi Exhaust Pipe can get you out of trouble?

Over the past 15 years we have seen a massive change in the way that car manufacturers have changed the way that exhaust systems have changed. In the early days we used to keep

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Astra VXR in for a noisy exhaust system! Flexi Exhaust Pipe to the rescue

huge stocks of exhaust parts( including Flexi Exhaust Pipe) in stock to service our customer’s cars.

There were many different exhaust manufacturers around at the time supply the aftermarket with mild steel replacement exhaust systems. Some were good quality and some were bad quality. At the time we would guarantee these mild steel systems for one year and they did not last much longer than that. At the time I was a great fan of the Unipart exhaust, because they were perhaps the best fitting exhaust system on the Mini’s which were very popular at the time.

We found though that the worst problem apart from half of them did not fit correctly, was the welding. We had to balance the cost of these exhausts with the quality of the fit and the welding. The cheaper exhausts were welded by hand, and were awful quality. We would have many comebacks from faulty badly made exhausts. Some of these companies are now long gone, but the ones who have stuck it out are the better quality systems. These companies such as Bosal, went into aluminising their exhausts to make them last longer and gave them a two year warranty.

However they would still rot from the inside due to the mild sulfuric acid that was emitted from the engines of these cars.

Catalytic Converters became the new influence with better quality exhaust pipes.

Then along came the big revolution, for the humble exhaust pipe, the emissions test. The new greener car engines started to come out with catalytic converters. This was to control the

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Catalytic converters complete with its own Flexi Exhaust Pipe used to come boxed up like this one

pollutants that were entering the atmosphere from the car’s engine. The cats were made from a honeycomb of ceramics and the catalysts that are used are made from precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

It is my opinion that was because of the improved status of the exhaust system including the catalytic converter that the whole unit would have to be made better and therefor would last

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Astra VXR with a new Flexi Exhaust Pipe welded on to his existing exhaust system

much longer. In the early days of catalysts, companies set up making up the replacement cats with imported universal units from America, so if your cat went for any reason then the cheapest way to replace it would be to make one up in a kit form including a Flexi Exhaust Pipe and weld it to the old exhaust pipe.

As time went on and the emission laws became stricter, then the cats became more complicated, some having two lambda sensors fitted and Flexi Exhaust Pipe which were also becoming an integral part of the exhaust system. It is not uncommon to find some cars with two cats on the same piece of exhaust system.

This is where our Astra VXR Flexi Exhaust Pipe comes into the equation.

 

The more complicated the car and engine then the more complicated the exhaust system will be. Some cars even have exhausts fitted that are more complicated to get at physically. They weave and bend into the most complicated places that you can think of.

Some of the cat/exhaust combinations can cost as much as half the value of the car in some cases and when we told this VXR owner that the replacement system for his car would be well over  £1000 he nearly fell through the floor?

Fortunately we have a guy working for us who can see his way round these things and Ryan came up with a great solution. He suggested welding a new flexi pipe onto where the break in the exhaust pipe was. This would save the customer hundreds of £’s just coming up to Christmas. All we had to do was to check and see if the exhaust was thick and strong enough to take a weld, and it was.

Ryan measured up the flexi-pipe where it was to be fitted and welded the new part onto the existing exhaust. The guy could not afford the £1000 in the first place and so we were all happy. We can confidently give the guy a guarantee on the job and he went away another happy customer.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and Exhaust  System Repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts.

Eric Roberts

Neglect car servicing

Car Servicing under Warranty-Do You Have to Have Your Servicing Done By the Main Dealer ?

Car Servicing under Warranty

Your car servicing can be carried out when the car is  under the manufactures warranty

Car Servicing under Warranty

European Union EU flag

So, as a garage owner of long standing ! This is a question that I am always asked. Albeit too late to benefit my garage. Of course, when customers come to us for say a tyre fitting.Naturally, then they sometimes ask us what the price of a service would be for their car. Some customers then say that we can’t do the car  servicing ! Because the car is under the manufacturer’s warranty. Subsequently, they must take their cars to the main dealer (franchise garage).

This ruling was brought out in the European Union (EU) in 2010 .  As an update to previous legislation. Consequently, this is similar to the American version of “Right to repair act”. It was brought up to date to prevent the car manufacturers from protectionism. Including, diverting the cars that they made to their franchise dealers. Thus not allowing any work to be passed onto the independent garage sector. While the vehicle was still under warranty. This also would have included Prestige Car Servicing. Giving the main dealer garages the monopoly for all the work. Whilst the car was still in the warranty period.

This was not acceptable to the EU.

So, as car repair bills were then accounting for 40% of running and owning a family auto. Unfortunately, the costs were going to rise in future years. In my opinion this legislation was not very well publicized. Because the general public do not know much about the fact that you can take your vehicle to a reputable independent garage. Finally, even if the car is still under the makers warranty scheme.

More reading…European Union Auto legislation

Car owners are still told that they must return their cars to the franchise dealers for servicing. Including out of warranty repair work. Including,such things as brake pad replacements and other wear and tear items. Tragically, or else if they don’t it will affect their cars warranty. This is simply NOT TRUE?

A couple of my customers have told me recently that this is what the salesman had told them, when they had bought their new vehicle. One was a guy with a BMW, who told him that the carcar servicing under warranty

had to be serviced by the BMW garage to keep the cars warranty. Another woman customer had bought an Audi TT from the local Audi franchise and they told her the same. I am not sure if it is a lack of knowledge by the car salesman, but I suspect that they must be trained to say these things.

The EU legislation states that all car makers

So, have to offer the least, a two year unlimited mileage warranty on all their cars. This starts from the day the car is first registered. These car sales people should know the law and I am sure the same thing is applicable in the USA, as I stated under their “right to repair laws”. The two year minimum warranty ruling also applies if the car changes ownership within the warranty period.

The 2010 EU ruling along with previous legislation has been around for quite a while now and all franchise garages know that you cannot force a new car buyer to return the car for all its car servicing or brake work.  Enabling the car to retain its warranty. The only stipulation is that the independent garage that is carrying out the service should carry out the work according to the cars manufacturing service manual and also use service parts of the same quality as the original equipment fitted the vehicle.

car servicing

Car servicing Halifax can also be carried out by other local garages if the car is still under warranty

In my opinion it is good practice to have your car servicing done at a reputable garage

One that may be recommended by your family or friends. If possible look out for a garage that is one of the “good garage schemes” or one that is vetted by the Motor codes organisation or by the Independent Garage Association. My garage is a member of one of these schemes and you may think that I am blowing my own trumpet.

But in my opinion ! Standards are high and customer care is a priority at most of these regulated garages. I must stress though, that if a part is found to be faulty . Then the franchise dealer has the right to repair the van under the terms of the car warranty. In my opinion this entirely fair and reasonable. Because it will the manufacturer who will be paying for the faulty parts being repaired. Consequently, they need to have proper procedures in place and a correct paper chase

This post does not cover warranties that are sold by a third party. Including, extended warranties offered by the garage that have sold the car. So, my advice is to be careful with that situation. Some of these other types of warranties that are not under the regulations covering the manufacturer’s warranties may require you to have your car serviced at the dealership where the van was bought.

We recently had this type of problem with a car that had a worn out clutch.

The lady customer brought the car to us for a new clutch fitting. Unfortunately, and did not tell us that the car was still under warranty. She genuinely thought that she did not have to pay for the clutch fitting. Unknowingly, and that we could claim the money back from the car manufacturers. After a long argument and many phone calls to the main dealer she finally paid us for her clutch fitting and went away a very confused and disgruntled lady, never to be seen again.

This was a perfect case of the car owners, not knowing about their cars warranty procedures.

“Under EU law, you may invoke your guarantee at any dealer in the manufacturer’s network, regardless of the EU country in which you bought the car. So if you buy your car in Germany and take it back with you to France. So, you go to a car dealership for that make of car close to your home to ask for a manufacturing fault to be remedied (within the guarantee period), rather than travelling back to Germany”…http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/cars/faq/index_en.htm 

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer Car Servicing under Warranty and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.

 

Runflat Tyres Safer

Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres-Run-Flat tyres will get you out of Trouble in an Emergency

Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres

For high standard of equipment and In all fairness Michelin are not the only company to make a run-flat product. Most tyre companies including some budget tyre brands make a run-flat tyre.

Michelin’s call their tyre the ZP or Michelin Zero Pressure.

This of course refers to the fact that when the run-flat tyre deflates, it will carry on running with zero air in the tyre. This is exactly what the run-flat does. Because of the much stronger

Michelin Zero Pressure

Michelin run-flat tyres

side walls the tyre will not deviate from its course. The driver is warned about the deflation from inside the car by the TPMS system (tyre pressure monitoring system).

Let’s face it our roads are probably the busiest in Europe and nobody enjoys having to change a wheel at the side of the road, in fact they now warn us to stay well away from the car, at the top of the embankment, while the recovery truck turns up, because of the many accidents caused by broken down vehicles being hit from behind by other vehicles who lose concentration and smash into them.

With the Michelin Zero Pressure run-flat technology fitted to your car this will be avoided. These tyres will lose pressure from a nail or a screw penetration but your car will keep a straight line and you will be able to drive home, albeit at the reduced speed of 50 mph, but the tyre will let you travel 50 mile which should be enough to get you out of trouble and have the tyre changed

Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres-Can you mix run-flat tyres with normal radial tyres?

Michelin recommend that you should never mix a Michelin Zero Pressure run-flat with a non-run-flat normal radial tyres. The only exception to this rule is if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere and the only tyre depot for miles around could only get you a normal tyre then this would be acceptable as a last resort, get you home step and the tyre must be changed back to a run-flat as soon as possible.

The Michelin Zero Pressure run-flats have completely different sidewalls; they are made of much thicker materials and are known as “Self-supporting tyres” or SST’s. They have two other identification markings on the sidewalls.
1: ZP allows you to drive at 50 mph for speeds up 50 mph (most of the M1 motorway at the moment)
2: ZP SR allows you to drive for 20 miles at 50 mph

Michelin Zero Pressure offer the same ride capabilities as a normal radial tyre

The first time I drove a BMW Mini that was equipped with run-flat tyres I thought I was in an old truck going down a cobble road. The ride was horrendous, and my staff, who regularly test drive cars say that this is a common thing, the ride is very hard, because the sidewalls are so thick and re-enforced. Michelin claim that their Zero pressure tyres are not the same and give just as good a ride as their normal radial tyre range.

Although I have not tried out as car fitted with Michelin Zero Pressure, this has got to be a step in the right direction and I will try out these tyres as soon as possible to quantify their claims.
However some fleet companies are now looking at the Michelin Zero Pressure, because of the more comfortable ride and also improved fuel consumption. These tyres have been tested by fleet company Alphabet’s Operational Services Manager, Andy Williams,
He explained: “The comfort compromise everyone used to associate with run-flats has disappeared with the latest technology of tyres.

I have tried Michelin’s new Zero Pressure (ZP) range

Trust me, you can’t tell the difference from standard tyres. Yes, there have been critics of run-flat tyres in the past, but Michelin has answered all of them. It is high time fleet managers start to embrace the new technology as it has so much to offer.

The combination of a smooth ride and the increased safety is something they just can’t afford to ignore. The fact Michelin Zero Pressurethat a tyre keeps its shape when it loses pressure could be life-saving in the event of a tyre blow-out.”
As I have stated earlier this means that the fleet car user can now safely drive the vehicle to a tyre centre or garage and have the tyre replaced.

This will help to reduce down time caused in the past by the driver calling out the emergency services because they are not able to change the wheel themselves, or the car is stranded in a dangerous place.

For the private drivers who are fitted out with run-flat tyres it would be well worth trying out these new Michelin Zero Pressure, because of the better and less harsh ride, that is associated with the other run-flat makes of tyres.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Michelin Zero Pressure Online .

Eric Roberts

NTDA Want Part Worn Tyres Banned

Am I getting soft on Part Worn Tyres? 22% of British Drivers Now Using Them-should we be worried?

Part Worn Tyres

 These are very alarming figures 22%, almost a quarter of the driving public are buying these part worn tyres

But I am now thinking differently about the problem. In my opinion the Part Worn Tyres market has increased due to the financial crisis and a lot of young families are having to make

part worn tyres

This tyre came from a car recently and was bought as a part worn tyre. the so called repair in the tyre only lasted 2 weeks before failing. The lady bought this tyre with good intent, not knowing that it was indeed rubbish.

huge economic changes in their household budgets, but they regard their car as sanctity, a necessity, they will keep it running at whatever cost, even if it means running the car without insurance or road tax.

This is also where part worn tyres come into it. If it means keeping the car running then they will pay say £20 for a part worn tyre, I do not think that they care about its condition, all I can say is that they must trust the person that they are buying from, as long as it gets them about and they can keep their car running.

It is the tyre industry that should make sure that the tyres that these people are using are in fact safe to use and come under the Part Worn Tyres law (Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.) part of the Consumer Protection Act) that we have here in the UK and probably other countries too.

17% of drivers would also keep buying part worn tyres.

In my opinion the economic crisis has hit us all to the extent that we will probably never recover again. The retail market place has changed considerably over the past years, with consumers having to make huge cuts in their spending habits. This includes everybody, and I have to admit that includes my family. We are changing our shopping habits and the companies that are making changes to cope with the lack of consumer spending are becoming the winners.

Starting at the top of the chain, families are now shopping on a daily or twice weekly basis. Here in the UK the winners are becoming the smaller chains such as Lidl and Aldi, who are pushing the huge supermarket customers into second place, primarily because of the changing shopping habits of the consumers. We also having the cheaper clothing retailers who are doing well in this climate, stores such as Primark are sweeping the floor with much cheaper clothing than the high street stores, who are suffering from the general downsizing of the consumers.

In my opinion this is also the same problem that is affecting the tyre market at the moment.

Drivers at the lower end of the economic scale are forced to buy part worn tyres to keep their cars on the road. According to the recent survey 17% of these drivers would also consider a repeat purchase of part worn tyres, which could mean that these people are taken out of the new car tyre market altogether. There has always been a slice of the tyre market that have bought second hand tyres, but this time the increase is quiet significant and is effecting many of the smaller tyre retailers up and down the country.

Fighting back with cheap budget tyres

One of the knock on effects of this gap in the market place is the price deflation of the budget tyre brands. My own business has seen a Sharpe increase in the cheap new tyre market. The manufacturers that are suffering are the mid-range tyre market and the leading companies appear to be holding their own, we are still getting our customers asking for their favorite brands. These are usually the older drivers that are known as the “Silvers” and that include me?

These are the drivers that will stick to Michelin and Dunlop and can still afford to pay the price for them.

I am only forming my opinion on the facts that are affecting my tyre business here in Halifax Yorkshire UK. But asking about and traveling around has opened my eyes to the number of part worn tyre bucket shops that have opened up in the last few years has quadrupled. The increase in these operations has opened my eyes to the extent of our industry wide problem. We seem to be more at the battle front in the poorer northern towns, especially the ones with a large immigrant population, such as Halifax.

Part worn tyres are also affecting the large companies

This problem probably multiplies the more depots that you own , so the huge tyre companies such as kwik-Fit must be pulling their hair out, in fact This recent survey was financed by Kwik-Fit and its findings were released to the rest of the industry. Roger Griggs of Kwik-Fit said…

“This research highlights the problems that British drivers have experienced with part worn tyres. Many of the second hand tyres sold in the UK are brought in from Europe by the container-load, having been taken off cars across the Channel. Motorists considering a part worn tyre should perhaps ask why a tyre that is no longer good enough for a Dutch, German or Danish driver would be good enough for them.

‘We recognise that drivers are keen to keep their motoring costs low, and we work hard to provide products and services to help them do that. There comes a point where cutting costs can compromise safety and this is especially true with tyres. After all, these are the only thing connecting a car with the road, so we urge drivers to consider whether they really need to opt for the unknown quality of second hand tyres.”

My problem with part worn tyres is the number that are found failing due to the damage that was already present

Of course, when the tyres were fitted to the new customers car. This is due to the fact that tyres that are sold are not sold legally. Here in the UK we have a set of rules that states that part worn tyres should be tested for any faults or damage or objects in the tyres and the tyre s should be checked whilst under pressure. Then after the tyre is checked and found to OK, then a special patch should be stuck (vulcanized) to the tyre with the name of the company or tester displayed on the tyre.

I now know that the effect of part worn tyres on the businesses of reputable tyre retailers

Having forced them to start selling these part worn tyres themselves and in a way I cannot blame them. One guy that I know has set up a separate small depot specifically for selling these tyres. He has kept the two companies separate for obvious reasons, but at least he is now clawing some of the lost business back and he is also running the operation within the current part worn tyre laws.

I can now understand better the predicament that many people find themselves in. Forced by financial circumstances, to buy these second hand tyres. So, thinking that we have all been affected by this crisis and will be for some time to come.

Now believing that they is a place for part worn tyres, but they must be bought and sold within the law and we must get rid of these people who sell all the rubbish and dangerous tyres, by strengthening the current laws and more importantly, to clamp down on these dodgy tyre businesses that sell this rubbish through stronger law enforcement.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts.

Eric Roberts

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems? Caused by the “Suction Control Valve” (SCV)

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems

Toyota RAV 4 problem just happened overnight

So, as I have said before, one of the great things about owning a garage. Importantly, is the diversity of jobs that we can encounter. Hence in any busy working week. This past week was no exception. One of our lady customers called it with her car, a Toyota RAV 4 !

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems

The Toyota RAV 4 ready for the engine work to be carried out.

Alarmingly, the reason was that the car was performing badly when trying to overtake. Especially, when she put her foot down the car was very slow to respond.

She had a new Duel Mass Flywheel fitted about six months ago ! Interestingly,  she had wondered if this could have anything to do with the cars recent problem?

The Toyota RAV 4 was fitted with the 2.0D-4 D engine. Importantly, she had not experienced many engine problems in the past. In fact apart from the clutch the car had been trouble free.

Ryan road tests the car !

When Ryan our workshop manager took the car out for a test drive. So, he noticed that the engine warning light was also illuminated . So on his return he plugged the car into our diagnostics machine. Finding that the code PO627 came up. When we looked the code fault up on our diagnostic site. Then it stated that the problem could be a couple of things.

  1. That the internal fuel was below the target fuel pressure that it should be, despite the engine ECU opens the Suction Control Valve (SCV)
  2. Fuel blockage.

Toyota RAV 42.0 D Engines are fitted with a Denso electronic high-pressure fuel pump.  Controlling, the fuel rail pressure and the volume of fuel and are both replaceable items. Denso also make the Fuel Pressure Regulator (we call it the SCV) that can cause the lack of power problems with the Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV 4

Arrow pointing at the position of the diesel pump

Problems.

Ryan suspected it to be the SCV and this was confirmed by a quick phone call to a friend of ours that specialises in diesel engines and fuel pumps. He told us that the SCV Valves had given most him most problems with this particular RAV 4 engine fault and so we took onto ourselves to tackle this particular problem.

New SCV ordered for the Toyota RAV 4

We contacted the customer with a price. Reluctantly, she gave us the go ahead to carry out the necessary work on the car’s engine. We could only buy the SCV parts from the Toyota dealership. Unfortunately, they were not available from any of the local parts factors.

The first part of the job was to remove the two bolts that fasten the radiator expansion tank to the car. Allowing you more room to work. Importantly, you can see this in the picture the arrow is pointing to ! Where the fuel pump is located. Down near the yellow dipstick top. Ryan then had to remove the remove the air intake/inter-cooler pipe.

The only difficult thing that Ryan could see was the location of the pump, that the SCV’s were located; they were located at the back of the pump, making the job a little fiddly.

When the new Toyota RAV 4 valves arrived. Hence they were both coloured differently. So,one was green and the other red. It was important that the new ones had to fit where the old ones had come from.

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems

Image showing the SCV valves in position ready to be changed, note the red and green colours and the Allen key type bolts that can be difficult to remove.

Hence the colour coding.

The valves are held into the pump by two heavy duty Allen screws each and were eventually freed by using an heavy duty Allen key type bit that fitted into an impact wrench set, with an extension tube to give him some leverage. This did the trick and the screws finally gave in to the pressure.

An important thing to watch out for is that the valve seats have two O-rings. These O-rings must be replaced and refitted into the valve seats; Ryan lubricated them when fitting them back, before the new valves were fitted back onto the pump.

Possible loss of fuel !

Another observation is that you will lose a small amount of fuel when doing this job, so protect the immediate area of the pump with some old cloth to soak up the diesel that comes out and you will not make a mess on the rest of the engine or the garage floor. We also thought it would be worth fitting a new fuel filter, and so we did.

When Ryan completed the work, he then re-set the Toyota RAV 4 engine diagnostic trouble codes , with our engine diagnostic machine and it then only took a couple of attempts to re start the engine, because there would have been a little trapped air in the system from when the valves were removed. If you are doing this job at home on your own one of these vehicles, we do recommend that you keep everything as clean as possible and do not let any dirt or other contamination onto the new valves.

The job only took about an hour

Including the ordering of the parts. Later the car was road tested and found to be cured of the problem. Happily, our lady customer picked up the Toyota RAV 4 paid us and went on her way a happy customer.

This problem can also be found on the following Toyota models

Toyota Avensis 2.0 D-4D (CDT220) 1999>2003,Toyota Avensis Verso 2.0D-4D (CLM20) 2001>2005,Toyota Corolla 2.0 D-4D (CDE110) 2000>2001,Toyota Corolla Verso 2.0 D-4D (CDE120) 001>2004,Toyota Corolla 2.0 D-4D (CDE120) 2001>2007 (90bhp & 109bhp),Toyota Previa 2.0 D-4D (CLR30) 2001>2007. This information is from Blue Print.

Eric Roberts

Toyota RAV 4

The new set of SCV valves ready to be fitted ,note the new sealing rings.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. Members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. Also sell New Economy Tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk  . So, by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. Offering courtesy cars to local motorists. Needing to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Trading Standards. Finally, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

 

Peugeot 206 Estate Clutch

Deaf Drivers Can Burn Out Clutches-Importantly, because they cant hear the engine revs?

Deaf Drivers Can Burn Out Clutches

Hard of hearing and Deaf Drivers Burnout their Clutch

Deaf Drivers-I realise that this is a sweeping statement and that people have varying levels of deafness, in fact, I am a little deaf, probably due to my disco days, when they used to blast your ears out

Deaf Drivers Can Burn Out Clutches

Peugeot’s burned out clutch after only a year of use

every weekend. According to the following website…http://qef.org.uk/our-services/qef-mobility-services/driving-school/driving-deaf-people deaf or hard of hearing as some like to be called can learn how to change gear by the feel of the engine’s vibration. The different vibrations coming from the different engine speeds can teach the driver when to change gear.

This advice is given to hard of hearing drivers. So, who are just learning how to drive. But I think that the problem is when the elderly driver becomes deafer with age. We have one customer in particular who is profoundly deaf, Consequently, but refuses to accept it.

He first came to us with a clutch problem about five years ago. Since he fell out with his old garage. So about the fact that they would not change his worn out clutch under warranty. He had the clutch fitted about a year earlier and he had burned it out.

Although most quality clutches come with a 2 year guarantee

Of course, this does not cover wear and tear due to bad clutch control. But the guy did not think that he was doing anything wrong. Slowly, the  deafness had crept up on him and he could not hear the engine noises.Telling him when he should change gear ! He had become one of the millions of deaf drivers on our roads.

The first time that he came to us we fitted an LUK Clutch. Which incidentally we usually use ! We think that they are one of the best products on the market and cover a great range of cars. The clutch was fitted and the customer paid his account and went on his way.

We could not believe the noise that his engine made when he set off. It was a miracle that his Peugeot 206 didn’t blow the engine up. He could not hear the engine noise and the engine were revved up twice as much as it should have been, very similar to a learner driver who tries to drive for the very first time. To our surprise, he forced the gear into first and the car took a jump before setting off, we knew it would not be long before we saw him again.

Deaf Drivers Can Burn Out Clutches

Peugeot 206 ready for its new clutch fitting

Clutch failed again a year later !

True enough about a year later, the Peugeot 206 CC turned up on our doorstep with guess what? A burnt out clutch. We were not surprised and stripped down the old clutch to take a look. Sure enough, the thing was completely burned out and we had to tell the guy that the problem was due to him being one of the  profoundly deaf drivers, now on our roads. Unfortunately, we had to bite the bullet and explain to him that the Clutch Replacement was not covered by the warranty and he would have to pay for a new one fitting.

He went on to tell us that “that was why he fell out with his old garage”, but we knew all of that and stuck to our side of the story. He finally agreed and began to realise that this was going to be the price to pay for him to keep on driving his car.

We have now fitted yet another clutch to this Peugeot 206

Another three clutches later, he has now accepted the fact that the way he drives will burn out a clutch every year, and yesterday we fitted a new clutch bang on time about a year from his last one. The guy is a lot happier now and accepted that being one of the millions of deaf drivers, it was to be part of life, he lives on his own and says that he never really talks to anybody other than himself (a bit sad) I think. Deaf drivers will have Clutch Problems.

Deaf Drivers Can Burn Out Clutches

New and old clutch together

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.

 

Eric Roberts

 

 

 

Peugeot 406 Lights

VW Polo Performance Problem-Calls in with bad Performance Problems?

A VW Polo day?

So, after the school summer holidays have finished. Fortunately, then we start to get busier in the garage repair side of the business. Happily, the tyre side starts to pick up nearer November, with the approach winter.

VW Polo with clutch and engine problems

VW Polo with clutch and engine problems

Like many other garages we try to plan our work schedules. Booking the various car repair jobs in accordingly.

One particular day last week when we were fully booked up and very busy. Subsequently, a breakdown truck turned up on the forecourt with a black VW Passat on the back. Firstly, the car looked to have had a small front end shunt. Because, the front wheel was sticking out at an angle. The VW Passat was a 2009 TDi and the car had been bumped when parked up in the local supermarket.

We pulled the VW off the trailer and pushed it onto a ramp. We soon discovered that the front wheel had been hit and had completely bent the steering arm. This had totally disabled the car from being driven. The remedy was easy; a new steering arm was fitted and the car was given a Laser Wheel Alignment to correct and re-set the steering. The owner picked up his car and went home happy.

Next car with a engine problem

We were not so lucky with the next car that was booked in for the engine shuddering and banging. The car was a VW Polo 1.4 TDi 2002. It belonged to a friend of the family’s son, who had just passed his driving test.

The VW Polo had been left with us and we took the car out for a road test to try find out what the problem was. The first thing that we noticed was that the clutch had gone, but there was other things going on at the same time, it was a mix-match of problems. We were well trusted by the customer and so decided that we had to fix the clutch first. We removed the clutch housing and found that the clutch had indeed gone.

After replacing the clutch the VW Polo did go a little better, but the engine was definitely not right, it was shuddering and juddering.

VW Polo, Passat with its bent steering arm

VW Passat with its bent steering arm

VW Polo Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) had to be checked out.

The MAF sensor is the instrument that checks the temperature and the weight of the air that is entering the VW Polo engine. This information is then sent to the on-board computer, which calculates the correct amount of fuel that the engine requires to operate at.

The sensor works by measuring the current that is required to check the temperature while the air blows past. The MAF will start to clog up with dirt and other particles over time and this blockage is the thing that can cause your engine to have problems. The symptoms are exactly what was related to this problem. Poor starting, the engine would not run properly and would not accelerate, especially up hills.

Clean MAF sensor

Some people say that if you can clean the MAF sensor at regular periods then these problems would not arise, but we have always found that we have had to replace the part. Importantly, we also fitted a new air filter and the VW Polo was a different car. It was road tested and the change of the MAF sensor revitalised the car, back to normal engine functions.

We also noticed that the steering had got a knocking noise and a vibration and on inspection found that the car also needed a Front Arm rear bush. We fitted this new bush and adjusted the wheel alignment. Here at Pellonautocentre we can repair all makes and types of cars.

It was an expensive day for the customer, but you would be surprised how many of our customers drive their car until it drops to pieces, nothing new there?

VW Polo,VW Passat with the steering arm how it should be

VW Passat with the steering arm how it should be

Just a few problems that we can get: in a busy garage.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer VW Polo and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. Members of Unipart Car Care centres. So giving a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. Also sell Pirelli Car Tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com . Of course, by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. Also an official MOT testing station and are members of Trading Standards. Finally,who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.